This week, more than one hundred of the city’s homeless people were welcomed to The City of Liverpool College for its annual ‘Open House’ event.
Visitors were treated to a three-course Christmas dinner, free haircuts, donated clothes and advice and guidance from external partners, supported by the staff, student volunteers, and Students’ Union.
The event was organised by the College’s Student Engagement Team in partnership with The Whitechapel Centre and Crisis, along with students and volunteers, in response to the rising homeless population in Liverpool, after Shelter reported that there are over 200 people either rough sleeping or in temporary housing in the city centre alone.
Students from across the College were involved, from Air Cabin crew students serving meals, to professional cookery students leading the catering, beauty therapy students providing treatments and barbering students offering free haircuts.
Guests were also presented with donations from students, staff and volunteers, and were each presented with a hat, gloves and thermals to keep them warm during the winter months, as well as being offered hot showers, fresh underwear and toiletries.
Elaine Bowker, Principal of The City of Liverpool College, said:
“For many people, Christmas can be an incredibly difficult, lonely time. We know how powerful acts of kindness can be, which is why we always encourage our students to volunteer and take part in activities such as this to support others, particularly at this time of year.
“We hope that our ‘Open House’ event goes some way to giving people joy during the festive season. We’re so grateful to all of the students and volunteers who gave up their time to give back to the local community and look forward to opening our doors again in the future.”
Tony Cobain, Chair of The City of Liverpool College, said:
“Our society should not need events like this. Children should not have to go without a hot meal, heat or eat should not ever have to be a choice, families should not need to live in single room hostels and nobody should need to sleep rough.
“As individuals or as organisations we can’t fix everything, but if we can make people happy for a couple of hours, give them a hot meal and show them that there are people who care then it’s a start.
“The City of Liverpool College is a huge part of our community and is always looking for ways that it can contribute and give back. The impact that events such as these have on those who need support, particularly at this time of year, cannot be underestimated.”